‘Herman’ shortlisted for prestigious award

 Type:Culture, Literature
 Location:England, London

Bestselling author Lars Saabye Christensen’s novel ‘Herman’ has been shortlisted for the prestigious YoungMinds Book Award.

The £3,000 award from the leading children’s mental health charity is sponsored by the acclaimed novelist Philip Pullman and will be presented to the winning author at a ceremony held at the Unicorn Theatre in London on the 23 November. YoungMinds is the national charity committed to improving the mental health of all children and young people. The award recognises a book, either fiction or non-fiction, that gives an insight into the lives, terrors and wonderings of children or young people.

The novel, translated from Norwegian by Steven Michael Nordby, tells the story of 11-year-old Herman who is not that different from other boys – except that he’s going bald. Presented with this dilemma, Herman uses his fertile imagination and a comical viewpoint on life to navigate through the rough seas commonly known as growing up and in the process teaches everyone something about friendship, courage, acceptance – and love.

Saabye Christensen was the winner of the 2001 Norwegian Booksellers Prize and the 2002 Nordic Prize for Literature. He has also been longlisted for the 2004 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, his novel 'The Half-brother' was listed as '1 of 25 Notable Books 2004' by the American Library Association and also shortlisted for the 2005 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.

Barbara Herts, Chief Executive and judge commented on the shortlist: “It is an exceptionally strong shortlist with an impressive breadth of different perspectives and themes. There is an interesting mix of first time novelists and well-established writers, which will make this award a privilege to judge. YoungMinds received an unprecedented amount of entrants for the award this year and it is a testament to the six finalists that the competition was so strong."
In addition to Christensen’s ‘Herman’ the five other books shortlisted from over 40 entrants are:

  • Shattered Lives - Camila Batmanghelidjh (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)
  • Just Like Tomorrow - Faiza Guene (Chatto & Windus)
  • Sailor in the Wardrobe- Hugo Hamilton (Fourth Estate)
  • Beasts of No Nation- Uzodinma Iweala (John Murray)
  • Londonstani- Gautam Malkani (Fourth Estate)

The judging panel for the 2006 YoungMinds Book Award are Barbara Herts, YoungMinds chief executive; Mike Philips award winning writer and lecturer of University of Westminster; Roy Apps, children’s author and BAFTA award winning scriptwriter; Yvonne Roberts, journalist and broadcaster; Michael Leadbetter, children¹s services and social care consultant.

'Herman' was published in the UK on 10 October 2005 by Arcadia.


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Lars Saabye Christensen's novel 'Herman' is out in the UK nowPhoto: Siv-Elin Nærø